M for Mature

esrbI watch a lot of sports, particularly football and basketball, and I’ve observed before that sixty-eight year old males are not the target demographic of the frequent commercials.  I get to listen to a lot of hip-hop music  (which I sometimes mute) and watch commercials implying a mystical connection between light beer and beautiful women.   There’s a new commercial for an electric razor that can not only shave a man’s face but his entire body.  Yuck.  But the ads that bug me the most are for video games.   After enduring sixty seconds of admittedly amazing graphics of explosions and various creatures being stabbed, decapitated and otherwise maimed, I get to learn that the latest game for X-Box, Total Destruction is Rated M for Mature.   At this point in my life, I am nothing if not mature but I haven’t the slightest urge to play a video game, particularly a violent one.  Of course, M for Mature is the ESRB Rating which means Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.    It is a fault of the American language that many words have shades of meaning, and, indeed, mature can mean anything from simply old (Centrum Mature vitamins for people over 50) to sexually mature (this Site for Mature Adults Only).  But when someone tries to settle an argument by saying, We’re all mature adults here, they’re not commenting on the age of the group or its ability to have orgasms.  They are talking about psychological maturity, showing the mental, emotional, or physical characteristics associated with a fully developed person; involving serious thought.

If you Google maturity, you’ll find numerous articles on why our young adults mature so slowly these days.  In an article titled The Marks of Maturity in Psychology Today, Dr. Tim Elmore notes that recent discoveries regarding adolescent brains show that from ages 11-14, kids lose some of the connections between cells in the part of their brain that enables them to think clearly and make good decisions.  Seriously, is there anyone who’s raised children that didn’t know that?  The article, and Elmore’s book, Artificial Maturity, describes some real markers of maturity … like the ability to delay gratification, the ability to be unshaken by flattery or criticism, or being teachable … that we can encourage in our children.   No where are violent or sexual video games listed.

TSTIf you are are a Tuesday regular on Bud’s Blog, you may have guessed that it is Top Sites Tuesday, the meme where we get to offer Two Thoughts on just about anything.  For Thought Number One, I’ll paraphrase Charlie Barrett from gamesradar.comCalling a bucket of blood, a stream of foul profanity and a parade of naughty lady parts M for Mature gives maturity a bad name and is exactly what attracts immature teenage boys.  And Thought Number Two:  We can’t expect a society of mature adults if we don’t model maturity ourselves.  In related news, The Onion, America’s Finest (humorous) News Source, in an article titled, Nation Down to Last Hundred Grown Ups, claims that experts say Mature Adults Could Be Gone Within Fifty Years.  Well, I for one, will be.

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8 Comments on “M for Mature”

  1. I’m 37, and I know video games have evolved since I played Atari as a kid, but I find it weird how many adults play them in general A LOT.

  2. Mature is much like manure for it to do any good you’ve got to spread it around…..so to speak.

    It is like in the old days when “Banned in Boston” got a film a lot of attention. If you put M for mature you guarantee every teen and tween will have one or want one….it takes a Mature parent to keep this stuff out of the teen or tweens hands at least for a while till they start to mature that is….

  3. I think I am Mature and I am with you on the games with all the blood and everything blowing up all over the place, I do not like them at all. It is very hard to find any games with out blood and a lot of things blowing up all over the place. Therefore I do not have any of those games.

    Here’s your click ….

    Love and Blessings,

  4. Cheryl P. Says:

    Phil Sallaway makes a great point..by putting the M for Mature on things makes teens feel grown up and waves a red flag in front of teens faces….begging them “come and get me.”

    I don’t understand the necessity for the graphic violence in these games even if the audience was exclusively that of older adults. Wisdom and Maturity are two very different things.


  5. Trina Says:

    I’m so far behind on the gaming scene. I know that the games have gotten more graphic and realistic. It would be nice if things moved in a less violent direction – less blow ’em up and kill ’emall movies and games – more outside activities.


  6. Wolfbernz Says:

    Hi Bud,

    It seems that M for mature is like rated R movies. The youger crowd is sneaking in to watch it or play the game. I do agree that games should be a little less graphically violent.

    Clicks for you!

  7. So what are the marks of maturity? We all love it when we see a young person who carries themselves well and shows signs of being mature. They interact with adults in an adult manner. Those kinds of students are downright refreshing. Let me give you a list of what I consider to be the marks of maturity. At Growing Leaders we seek to build these marks in young people, ages 16-24 as we partner with schools. This certainly isn’t an exhaustive list, but it is a list of characteristics I notice in young people who are unusually mature, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. If you are a parent—this is a good list of qualities to begin developing in your child. If you are a coach, or a teacher or a dean, these are the signs we wish every student possessed when they graduate. For that matter, these are signs I wish every adult modeled for the generation coming behind them.

  8. Derek Zenith Says:

    I used to play a game called Star Wars:Battlefront II. It was violentish, but it was descent. There were only explosions when you threw grenades. You got four grenades. There was no blood.

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